Australia will expand its commitment to the training of recruits from the Armed Forces of Ukraine as part of Operation Kudu in 2024.
CAPTION: An Australian Army soldier instructs Armed Forces of Ukraine recruits during battle inoculation training, as part of Operation Kudu in the United Kingdom. Photo: Leading Aircraftwoman Emma Schwenke (image has been digitally altered for security purposes).
Since January, Australian soldiers have helped train more than 1200 recruits as part of the UK-led and based multinational training mission, to support Ukraine’s national defence following Russia’s invasion.
The most recent rotation of about 70 Australian Defence Force (ADF) instructors returned to Darwin this week.
Over the next 12 months, the number of ADF members deployed on each rotation will increase to 90.
Australia’s role will be expanded to include a junior leadership training program, focusing on areas such as foundation warfighting skills, including urban and trench warfare, combat first aid, explosive hazard awareness and marksmanship.
More than 30,000 Ukrainians have trained to become soldiers since June 2022, supported by personnel from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, the Netherlands and, most recently, Romania.
Australia’s overall assistance to Ukraine in monetary terms is worth about $910 million, including $730 million in military support.
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Richard Marles, said ADF personnel were providing critical skills to Ukrainian recruits.
“We are proud to expand Australia’s support for Operation Kudu, a mission that cements international solidarity for Ukraine,” Mr Marles said.
“Our growing commitment to the multinational training mission affirms our pledge to provide meaningful and relevant support to the government and people of Ukraine.”